10 December 2019

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

I read this passage a number of times in preparation for the blog. And then I read it slowly as Denzil keeps reminding us, and then I slowly read it again thinking about Jesus. What a humbling passage and what a rebuke! The Creator and Sustainer of the universe made Himself human, and not a strong and powerful human (although He did many wonderous things with great power). He could have descended and sat on a throne and ruled His subjects with an iron fist. But He came as a servant and brother, He offered Himself as a price for our sin and He provides the way through His death and Holy Spirit for us to have eternal peace with Him, our Father and brothers and sisters in Christ. As Christmas approaches and the busyness of life hems us in, take time to reflect on how Jesus in all His might and power came to the world as a precious baby to serve us. He came to take on the sins of all who turn to the Father and repent and call upon His precious name.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You love us and forgive us when we forget that this time of year is meant to celebrate the birth of our Redeemer, forgive us when all we can see is the god of consumerism and materialism.  Help us the remember what Christ died for us by becoming a man and taking our punishment so that we can be called Your children.

Thank You Father.  Amen.